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HAYGAIN HG-600 - Half Bale Hay Steamer
Why We Love This
When hay is steamed with the HAYGAIN steamer process, the mold spores are killed and the dust is significantly reduced. Additionally, the hay becomes softer and more palatable for the horse. There are many types of horses that may benefit from these effects. For example, horses with airway problems such as inflammatory airway disease (IAD) or recurrent airway obstruction (RAO or heaves), older horses with decreased appetites or poor dentition, hard keepers, active and traveling sport horses and race horses, horses with allergies, and those kept in stalls for long periods of time. These types of horses benefit from either the reduction of dust, killed mold spores, increased palatability or (more likely) a combination of these factors.
The patented design of the steam manifold (metal plate with spikes at the bottom of the steam chest) ensures introduction of steam to the bale in the most effective manner. The spikes of the manifold penetrate the bale and distribute steam, enabling it to diffuse outwards from the center of the bale. The container is fully insulated (double wall) and efficiently sealed, ensuring the critically necessary temperatures are maintained. As the moisture content within the hay increases, the temperature rises exponentially due to the increased efficiency of condensed steam acting as a heat conductor. In addition, the design of the steam manifold plate will act as a hot plate to further amplify the heating process of the bale. The temperature of the hay reaches over 212 degrees Fahrenheit to guarantee that the mold spores are killed and irrespirable.
Helpful Hints for Use in Winter
- When not in use, keep the steam boiler inside in a warm place (such as a heated tack room). After use, allow to cool, then disconnect the hose from steam chest and drain hose.
- When first using in extremely cold temperatures keep the hose connected to the steamer and disconnect the hose from the chest and turn on the steamer separately to ensure the black steam hose is clear and free of any ice that could build up in the line. If there is no steam emitted from the hose within 15 to 20 minutes, the hose is not clear. Immediately turn the unit off and allow it to cool down for 5 minutes. Immerse the steam hose in hot water and squeeze it to clear frozen water. Try again to see if steam is emitted from the hose.
Reviewsout of 5Tell us what you think!
SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.HAYGAIN HG-600 - Half Bale Hay Steamer is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 10.Rated 5 out of 5 by Rahlos Mom from Gave me my horse back! After 6 years of battling with my horse's allergies, (allergy testing, a year of shots, acupuncture, natural supplements, living out side, soaking hay, dengue, etc), I finally invested in a Hay Gain Hay Steamer. My horse had been on Clenbuterol last summer just to make him comfortable in the paddock but is now medication free and eventing at the Novice level at 18 years old!!! I am so grateful to have my horse back! I highly recommend trying this product if your horse has any hay allergies, cough, etc. I had a problem with the boiler a few weeks after to receiving it and Hay Gain was phenomenal to deal with and had my boiler replaced in days!! The steamer itself is very simple and easy to manage.Date published: 2015-08-22Rated 3 out of 5 by 4Winds from Works as specified despite major flaws. I purchased this through Smartpak about two months ago, and held off putting up a review until I really had time to use it and get to know the machine.The first thing I will say is that this item drop ships from the manufacturer, and the manufacturer doesn't pay for an upgraded freight truck, so you're going to have to lift the 300 pound piece of equipment off the truck yourself, have a forklift on site, or convince the shipper to bring a properly equipped truck.Now for the flaws in the actual item:1. No Automatic Shut Off, No Timer: Install a wall timer switch with a qualified electrician. The steamer is just that: a steam generator plugged into a specially outfitted cooler. There is no ability to select the length of the cycle. If you turn the machine on, and do not turn it off, or forget to turn it off, or tell someone else to turn it off and they forget, it will keep running. It will NOT automatically shut off when it runs out of water. In theory I suppose it could ignite. Install a wall timer switch, set the length of time you desire, and use it that way. Safety first.2. No GFIC: The half bale model will take out a GFIC in about three weeks. Ours is on a separate circuit with a timer switch and no GFIC.3. Drainage: The drain pan is approximately the size of a Lunchables container. The instructions very clearly say to pour a gallon of water over the hay before steaming. The drain pain doesn't contain even one third of this water, so you see the problem. Make sure this is in an area where you don't mind the floor being VERY wet.4. Cleaning: There is really no provision for cleaning this thing. The drain hole is the size of a quarter. In order to clean it, you have to tip it over and wash it out. If you do NOT wash it out, the little bits of hay will get under the steamer prongs and actually rot. Even when you do wash it out its going to smell like a pond. And while you're at it, wash underneath it, because it gets pretty swampy down there too.5. The Lid: Has no handles, and doesn't stay up. If you don't wear the gloves, you will burn yourself. If you reach into the machine, it will close on you. If you lean over, it will hit you in the head. Let me repeat this: Without the gloves you will BE BURNED. Also, let it sit for a while before you open it.That said, and I realize this looks an awful lot like a few other reviews, it really is the only option on the market. It does indeed steam the hay, better if you wet it more before the cycle. We run a cycle of 60 minutes. I have three horses, and we run one cycle at around 11 am for Lunch / Dinner hay and one cycle at around 6 pm for Night / Breakfast hay. They eat at 7, 12:30, 5 and 9. You can easily fit six flakes of hay in there. If you're judicious about packing you can fit nine. You can run a longer cycle (and you will if you forget its on) or a shorter cycle (but not effectively since it takes approximately 20 minutes before the generator begins making steam). If you plan your horses mealtimes well this is a workable machine. If you own your own facility and can have a wall switch installed this is an even more workable machine.If the manufacturer had consulted basically anyone prior to developing this product, it would be really a lot more user friendly. That said, it does indeed operate to specifications, and my gelding has coughed three times in two months since getting the machine, so it is reducing dust and mold in the hay. Also it smells more palatable, although we don't have any picky eaters.Finally, this thing is way over priced. Its basically a steam generator plugged in using some compression hose fittings to a rolling airtight cooler. If you're handy and have some time to plan it out I imagine you could make your own, with a kickstand for the lid, a handle, and a larger drain hole, and maybe even an automatic shut off.Date published: 2015-05-10Rated 5 out of 5 by Autumn81 from Nice hay steamer Highly recommend to anyone with senior horses or somewhat dusty hay. I do however wish the drip pan was better.Date published: 2015-03-02Rated 5 out of 5 by Lisa from A Lifesaving Alternative to Soaking Hay I bought this steamer about 3 months ago after researching various options for either soaking or steaming hay and am thankful I did since we are experiencing the worst winter in recent memory. The steamer is what it promises to be: in less than an hour it steams to a consistent temperature and makes the hay more palatable for even the horses without respiratory issues. What I don't like is that the very heavy lid will not stay in the open position and if you move the chest, it falls with force. It has crushed my finger and knocked my head until I learned to close it before inserting the drip pan or other jarring activities. The drip pan is useless. It is much too small for the gallon of water recommended for top dressing so I replaced it with an old saute pan. The device also will freeze in cold temps, so you have to guard against this. If the gaskets or hose freeze, the steamer will overheat and shut off. I've resorted to using it in my garage and disconnecting everything at night when extremely cold. I like the wheels and handle for easily moving it about. I have also heard that the steam vents sometimes become clogged with debris, so it is advisable to keep the chest cleaned out. Not always easy in cold temps! Based on the lack of viable alternatives, it is a great help and am glad I bought it. I hope that it will last because there was a suspicious lack of a company guarantee. It is very expensive for something that you would think would be much cheaper to manufacture and distribute.Date published: 2015-02-26Rated 5 out of 5 by Debra25 from The horses love it! I've had the steamer for several months, now. It was purchased because of an ill horse. Steaming his hay was recommended by our veterinarian. We now feed steamed hay to all 3 of our horses they enjoy their hay more, since we began steaming. This product is easy to use and seems to be of high quality construction. Buying it through Smartpak saved us a lot on shipping!Date published: 2014-08-09
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